Ridge Meadows RCMP arrested four people in connection to two separate catalytic converter thefts in Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)

Ridge Meadows RCMP arrested four people in connection to two separate catalytic converter thefts in Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)

Four arrested after two incidents of catalytic converter thefts in Maple Ridge

One man arrested in daycare parking lot; three others allegedly used leaf blowers as distraction

Four people have been arrested after two separate incidents of catalytic converter thefts in Maple Ridge.

One man was arrested after Ridge Meadows RCMP was called to the parking lot of a daycare at around 7:16 a.m. on Sunday, July 18, in the 22700 block area of Lougheed Highway, where the caller noticed a man underneath a vehicle.

When police arrived they found the man in the bushes with electric cutting tools, multiple blades and catalytic converters nearby.

They also discovered a stolen high-end bicycle that they were able to match the serial number to a previous file.

Then at about 7:40 p.m. that same day, RCMP was called to the 10300 block of Jackson Road where two women and a man allegedly stole a catalytic converter from beneath a parked car. The women were wearing high visibility vests and were operating leaf blowers on the sidewalk as the man crawled underneath a parked car. Police suspect the leaf blower tactic was used as a distraction.

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All three left the area in a grey Honda Odyssey, not before removing magnetic decals from the sides of the car that implied they were a legitimate business.

However, once RCMP located the vehicle, they found multiple catalytic converters inside the car and arrested all three suspects.

The catalytic converters were also seized along with the vehicle for civil forfeiture process.

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“These thefts are occurring in highly populated areas during full daylight and something just seemed ‘off’ to the witnesses who observed this unusual activity and called it in,” said Const. Julie Klaussner with the Ridge Meadows RCMP.

“These two files highlight that thieves can be quite brazen and so, if you are seeing something suspicious, please don’t hesitate to call us. We applaud and thank these citizens for doing their part,” Klaussner added

Formal charges are pending appearances in a B.C. provincial court process, she noted, adding that no further information can be provided at this time due to privacy act considerations.


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